If you want to have a more profitable shop, prepare to get a little introspective.
“You have to chart your course,” said Derrick Myers, CPA, CFP, PFCI, during the annual Canadian Florist Business Forum Monday, May 29. “What do you want to be and how are you going to achieve it?”
Before diving into target numbers for payroll, COGS, marketing, delivery, and wire service business, Myers, who’s spent more than 30 years working with florists, emphasized the importance of having a vision and surrounding yourself with people dedicated to it.
“So many people spend so much time working in their business that they fail to ever work on it,” he said. He advises taking one day a week (or an hour a day) to step away from day-to-day challenges and contemplate the big picture.
A great exercise, he said, is to spend 30 days writing down your top 10 goals, broken down into three categories (business, personal, relationship). “This exercise is not hocus locus,” he said. “It activates a part of the brain called the reticular activating system. I did this and pretty quickly achieved 8 out of 10 of my goals!”
“You can’t improve if you don’t know where you’re headed,” he said. Identify what you want: to be the premier wedding florist in town, to be a go-to gift shop, to be a specialty retailer, etc. “If you don’t have a vision, you’re following someone else’s direction. It might come from the wire services or your neighbors.”
Once you have your vision, communicate it with your employees. “This is your crew and you need a good one,” Myers said. If your staff doesn’t understand and embrace your vision, let them go. “They have no place on your journey,” he said. For instance, a designer who’s not emotionally invested in the success of the shop might think nothing of stuffing a few extra stems in arrangements, thus setting you up for a host of problems.
While discussing your plan, be sure to include your entire team — “drivers too,” Myers said. “You never know who’ll have a brilliant idea.”
Your goal should be to assemble your own “A Team“. There are four types of workers, Myers said:
- A people: skilled and invested in your vision
- B people: unskilled but invested in your vision
- C people: skilled but don’t believe in your vision
- D people: unskilled and don’t believe in your vision (“These are the people you call up on February 12 when you simply need warm bodies to get you through the Valentine’s crunch,” Myers said. “The problem is when they’re still around months later.”
It’s easier to teach employees skills than it is to change their outlook, so consider peoples’ attitudes when you’re hiring, he said.
For more of Myers’ secrets for discovering your hidden profits, catch one of his upcoming presentations:
- Florida State Florists’ Association: June 8, Orlando
- SAF’s 1-Day Profit Blast: July 22, St. Louis
- SAF’s Annual Convention: September 6-9, Palm Beach